Choose a business structure
You must choose a structure for your business. This structure will define your legal responsibilities, like:
- the paperwork you must fill in to get started
- the taxes you’ll have to manage and pay
- how you can personally take the profit your business makes
- your personal responsibilities if your business makes a loss
Types of business structures we offer
- Private Limited by Shares
Limited by shares companies consist of director(s) and shareholder(s) and are the most common type of business structure used.
- Private Limited by Guarantee
Limited by guarantee companies are typically non-profit organisations such as charities, sports association and social enterprises.
- Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)
LLP companies are where each partner pays tax on their share of profits.
- Reserve a company name
You can secure a company name until you are ready to trade and we look after all statutory obligations and responsibilities of owning a limited company
- Shelf company
Shelf companies are 'ready made’ companies that are already incorporated.
- Sole trader
As a sole trader, you usually work for yourself and are classed as self-employed.
Important: Check what details you need to have when setting up your company online with us.
Other types of structures we do not offer
- Community Interest Company (CIC)
CIC companies are for those who want to conduct a business or activity for community benefit. You can set up a CIC with Companies House.
- Limited Liability Company (LLC)
An LLC company is the United States form of a private limited company. Therefore, you can set up a UK limited company instead.
- Flat Management Company
Companies that are jointly run by residents, e.g., a block of flats. You can set up a flat management company with Companies House.
- Offshore Company
An offshore company formation is the setting up of a company as a legal entity, incorporated in a tax haven which is free from all local taxes.
A partnership business where two or more people share responsibilities. You can set up a partnership company with Companies House.
- Public Limited Company (PLC)
PLC's can issue shares to the public. You can set up a PLC with Companies House. To find out how to set up a PLC contact Companies House.
- Umbrella company
Umbrella companies employ temporary workers and enable them to carry out a number of short-term contracts of agencies and clients.
If you're still unsure about what type of company to choose, please speak with an accountant or business advisor.